Spreading love, joy, peace, faith & unity

Posts tagged ‘God’

Embrace Our Military


My heart is breaking over the loss of the lives of 13 of our military in Afghanistan yesterday. The death toll from the blast includes 11 U.S. Marines, a Navy hospital corpsman, and one Army soldier, American officials said.

Today we learned the identity of one of those Marines who was needlessly killed yesterday in that bombing. He was only 20 years old. A young man who wanted to be a Marine all his life, according to a report I just heard. A young man who was due to be a dad in just three weeks. My heart goes out to his family and friends, the mother of his child, and to his unborn child. My prayers are with all those who lost loved ones in that attack yesterday… including the more than 100 Afghans who died in that bombing, too.

The above photo is Texas Marine David Lee Espinoza, 20,
killed in Kabul airport attack…
who was lauded for ‘courage and bravery,’

The young man is Kareem. His father’s interview was posted on-line. A portion of it was,
“Kareem loved what he was doing, he always wanted to be a Marine,” said Nikoui, noting that his son had been stationed close to home, at Camp Pendleton. This made it easy for Kareem to visit on weekends, and he often brought along “10 or 15 other Marines” with him. When the holidays rolled around, Kareem always brought a few buddies with him for a home cooked meal.

As I write this post, additional names are being released of those who were killed in the Kabul bombing. This one just came in:

“A Marine from the St. Louis area was among the 13 American service members and more than a hundred Afghans killed in a suicide bombing Thursday near Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport, according to the man’s father and a U.S. senator.

Jared Schmitz, 20, of Wentzville, Missouri, was among the dead, his father, Mark Schmitz told the radio station KMOX.

“This has just been absolutely devastating,” Schmitz told the station Friday.

Schmitz told the station the U.S. Marine Corps came to his home to deliver “the horrific news” around 2:40 a.m. Friday.

U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley confirmed his death in a statement posted to Twitter.

“Today I spoke with the family of Lance Corporal Jared Schmitz, of Wentzville, Missouri, a Marine who lost his life yesterday in the Kabul attacks, while proudly serving this nation. I promised his family that his service and his legacy will not be forgotten,” Hawley wrote.

I THANK OUR MEN AND WOMEN IN UNIFORM
FOR THEIR SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY
AND THEIR WORK TO KEEP US
FREE AND SAFE.

God bless our military.
Keep them safe, Lord.
Let them come home to their families
alive and well… not in a box!

Dear Friends,
EMBRACE OUR MILITARY.
They need our appreciation and support every day.

See you tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Rain


If your son was in a place like the one pictured here:

… with the red representing forest fires that are zero contained
and the red arrow representing his home location,
you would be embracing rain, too!

Play this sound of rain for a while.

As you listen, pray that God will provide rain
for all the places in the world where drought
or fires are placing people, animals, forests,
homes, businesses, and livelihoods in danger.

Thank you!
Prayers for you and your safety today…


Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Encouragement


Do you ever get into a funk?

Life can feel downright discouraging.
Life can feel out of control.
The world is burning up here in the western USA
And life is tenuous at best
In places like Afghanistan and Haiti.

Flames are uncontrolled
Smoke fills Madison Valley
Bless firefighters
As the red sun rose
through the smoke-filled, sad, gray sky
It cleared a little
Air quality sad
My response is funky mood
Looking for more rain
Sad Afghanistan
The loss of life and freedom
Brutalization
People desperate
To leave Kabul rapidly
Not a chance of that
The Haiti earthquake
It’s horrifying! to see
Worse yet to live it

In the midst of this
Devastation, what’s the word?
It’s ENCOURAGEMENT


How can that be true?
Where to find encouragement?
Get out of this funk!

In tragedy’s midst
Where can I find strength and hope?
Circumvent sadness?

How can anything
I do or say dent sorrow?
Search within myself?

I live in such peace
That I feel enormous guilt
For prosperity.

What strength is in me
To bring firefighters hope?
To save Haitian lives?

People who have lost
Their homes and their businesses
Still have lives to live.

Can they get through this
With their faith in God intact?
Where’s encouragement?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

At Bible Study
We focused on Ephesians
6:10-20

The Whole Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.”

Find hope biblically
Look for encouragement there
All is not hopeless

Don’t abandon faith.
Let it bolster your spirits
Encourage others

In our Bible Study, I was encouraged with this definition of joy:

“Joy is resistance to:

* hopelessness
* hatred
* divisiveness
* greed
* despair
* rigidity
* darkness
* complacency
* lies, and
* discouragement.”

I asked my Bible Study friends,
“In the midst of all this despair,
what can we really DO
to encourage others
and to avoid the pitfalls
of discouragement
and despair?”

They responded with these suggestions,
“Pray,
Write,
Block negativity
(especially on Social media),
Volunteer to help others,
and PLAY!”

There’s no better way
To trade your funk for pleasure
Than to learn to play!

Take a look within –
How do you avoid despair?
Click below and share!

Smile!
God loves you!
(And so do I!)

Embrace Living Bread


Happy Sunday, my friends.
I hope you had a great day.
As usual, Bob & I attended church
and I took notes as I listened to the sermon.

The message was delivered by Pastor Mary Grace Reynolds.
The sermon was inspired by
John 6:51-63.

I was amazed at how cleverly MGR
took the scripture and applied it
to today’s world.

Bread & wine

John 6:51-63 NIV

51I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” 52Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. 57Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum. 60On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” 61Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? 62Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! 63The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.

The Living Bread

We come to church to seek comfort,
But is that the point of our faith?
Aren’t we called to be moved by Jesus?
He appeared a bit delusional to His disciples.

Jesus suggested what was prohibited.
People didn’t eat human flesh!
That teaching came across blasphemous.
Associating with Jesus caused them alienation.

Jesus’ message was meant to teach
His followers that He was the food
That would bring them into relationship
With God … and not laws or codes.

God saves – Rituals don’t.
God sent manna and now Jesus.
First physical, then spiritual saving.
Jesus told them, “I am the Bread.”

Trust Jesus to provide
the catalyzing calories
in our lives.
Feed on Him daily!

Jesus is the Living Bread…
Drink in the Wisdom of the Word

God Bless You
for visiting JanBeek today.
I appreciate you.

What did you do today?

I pray your Sunday
was filled with life and love.

See ya tomorrow (God willing)

Embrace Anger


Today’s sermon was titled, “Please Go to Bed Angry.”

What??? We all know what the Bible tells us:

So how could our pastor, Mary Grace Reynolds tell us to go to bed angry?
What a weird twist on a well-known scripture, huh?
What was the point she was making?
Here are the notes I took as I listened to today’s sermon:

Sit with yourself in silence
Long enough to feel the anger
That’s hidden inside of you.

If you’re not angry,
You’re not really livin’ –
Anger is a quiet, deep given.

Anger leads to rage and hatred.
Anger leads to destruction –
And we might not know it’s there.

I’m angry, and I name it.
I see it; I control it.
Paul tells us, “Walk away!”

Don’t let your anger lead you to sin.
Some people hurt us intentionally
And the gospel says, “Walk away!”

But there are people in our lives
Who need to be there –
And we may find some of them “angry.”

What do we do with anger?
Acknowledge it, define it, use it.
Let it build for the common good.

When I “feel” anger,
It doesn’t have to define me.
Sleep on that anger and address it.

Weather the conflict and
Don’t let it divide us.
Initiate the pain confrontation.

Managing anger demands strength
And a clearness of mind.
Let it be the light illuminating
a better way forward.

Amen?

Anger is like boiling water inside you.
It bubbles up and alerts you
To the need to get it up and out.

Righteous anger is addressed
In the Bible very clearly when
Jesus overturned the tables.

The money changers were
Ripping off the worshipers.
Jesus would have none of that!

John 2:15 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. Matthew 21:12 12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. Mark 11:15 15 On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves…



If Jesus had slept on that anger,
Might he have responded differently?
I doubt it. The situation was untenable!

Some actions and incidences
Deserve our righteous anger.
No need to sleep on it!

But other reasons for anger
Are not so clear cut!
Let the resolution stew a while!

After sleeping on it,
You may find there is a better solution
Than the one you thought of yesterday.

Let God speak to you.
Listen to His calming influence.
Respond biblically!

So, while we may embrace the right to be angry,
And we may feel justified exhibiting righteous anger,
The real path to a peaceful, joyful, and fulfilling life
Is the path described in Colossians 3:12. It’s my choice!

How about you?

Embrace Each Day


Each day in your life is a gift.
Embrace each with open arms.
Look for the positive ways
You can enhance the day with your charms.

Finding a thought to focus on,
Or a word to guide your path
Can help make each day better.
Then – end it with a bubble bath!!

Photo by Craig Adderley on Pexels.com

I begin each day with devotionals
That point me in the right direction.
Then as I walk in His will the best I can,
I try to spread His love and affection.

The “take-away” from each day’s reading
Is a way to stay the true course.
Let me share last month’s daily thoughts.
“Daily Guideposts” was my source.

Daily Take-aways

  1. Catch Problems Early
  2. Support Others’ Efforts
  3. Look for God’s Signs
  4. Let Hope Abound
  5. Embrace Today
  6. Let God Lead You
  7. Keep Moving Forward
  8. Look for a Hopeful Future
  9. Worship and Serve the Lord
  10. Respond to Life Cheerfully
  11. God Meets My Every Need
  12. God’s Wellspring Quenches
  13. Let God’s Word and Light Guide
  14. Tend My Heart’s Garden Daily
  15. Show Your Love and Appreciation
  16. Trust God
  17. Stop Worrying
  18. Be Open to Opportunities
  19. Be Thankful for Family
  20. Trust God to Answer Prayer
  21. Embrace Butterflies (Know the chrysalis important)
  22. Listen for God’s Ah-Hahs!
  23. Rest Secure in God’s Grip
  24. Just Enjoy Life
  25. Embrace Christ’s Power and Presence
  26. We are One Family
  27. Live Intentionally
  28. See God’s Goodness
  29. Fix Your Eyes on Jesus
  30. Know God Knows
  31. Thank God for Life!

Each sunrise is an opportunity
To begin anew and make life better.
Carry the daily take-away with you
And live following Christ to the letter.

He led the way with His perfect life,
Showing us how to love one another.
He didn’t promise a bed of roses,
Didn’t create puppets who would smother
The good in each day or be down-trodden.
God created us to be strong and tenacious.
Gave us a heart we could stretch and broaden.

So, from sun up to sun down each day,
Embrace the opportunities you are given
To reach out in love and compassion
And improve the place where you are livin’

What “Take-Away” speaks to you today?
What can you embrace with open arms?
What road beckons you to drive in and enter
A place that needs your love and charms?

Embrace each day as a new beginning –
A time to see what you can do
To make the world a better place,
And encourage those loved ones close to you.

How will you do that, my friend?
What can you do to brighten the corner where you are?

My mom

My mom brightened her corner…
That was one of the original “selfies” –
(around 1989)
Long before the word was coined
with the use of our cell phones!

Such a character!!

Mmmmmm

I co-hosted fellowship after worship service today.
Baked yummy, moist, gooey, chewy chocolate cupcakes…
Mmmmm…


What will you do to brighten the corner where you are?


Embrace Each Day…
Each is a new opportunity!

See ya tomorrow (God willing) –
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Answered Prayers


Have you had a worry today?
Something you have no control over?
I have!

My daughter, DeAna, in Switzerland
had surgery this morning.
When I went to bed last night,
I prayed to God.

“Take care of my girl, God.
Be with the surgeon.
Guide the anesthesiologist.
Make the results perfect.
Keep the whole process in Your capable hands!”

I set aside worry.
I slept soundly after giving it to God.
This morning DeDe sent me a text.
“It all came out ok.
I am fine!”

Praise God for answered prayers!

Do you turn your worries over to God in prayer?
Then, do you remember to thank our Heavenly Father
when the things and people you pray for turn out OK?

.

Every day I sit in my rocker up in my sanctuary
and I pray for my family and friends.
I pray for my neighbors and my church friends,
I pray for my pastor, my cousins who live in other states,
my son and daughter and their families, and
I pray for you, my Word Press friends.

If I have know specific needs
(like DeAna’s surgery this morning),
I will make my requests specific.
But most of the time I just ask God,
“Please take care of these beloved people.
You know their needs. Be with them, Lord.”

Like a river cutting through rock.
my prayers are tenacious.
I know God hears my prayers.
I know the Holy Spirit speaks to me
and reminds me of the people I need to remember.
I know God expects me to be persistent in prayer.
I am inspired by the way Jesus prayed.

This painting of Jesus praying
sits in front of me in my sanctuary.
So, as I pray, I know Jesus intercedes for me.
I know He hears and He models prayer for me.


Luke 6:12

“It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray,
and He spent the whole night in prayer to God.”

.

Prayers for Yourself

Not all prayers are for others.
Sometimes we need to pray for ourselves.
We need to ask God to provide for our needs
and we need to thank God for the way He provides.

Bob and I will celebrate our 60th anniversary next February.
Every day I pray to God for Bob’s health and safety
and I thank God for sending him into my life.
Every day I spend with him as my partner
is an answered prayer.



Every day
our lives are blessed
by the power of what love can do.
Our love grows richer
year after year.
Are you so blessed, too?



We are grateful for the love we share
and the way our friends and family
love us in return.

Thank you, friends.
Thank You, God…
for answered prayer!!

We found a love
only few ever find.

If life should end tomorrow,
I’d leave this earth a millionaire –
Because every day with you, my dear,
Is a day of answered prayer.

I love you, BobbyBee.

What answered prayer
is your “million dollar gift”
my friends?

Embrace This Moment


Embrace this moment;
It is all we surely have.
Make the most of it.

The best Olympic Games song in history (1988 Seoul, South Korea.).

Simone Biles did it:
She conquered her challenges.
Bounced back on the beam!

In this one moment,
I can feel eternity.
Congratulations!

Simone Biles

Embrace this moment.
You faced your fears; conquered them…
We all learned from you.

Don’t hang your head down
And ignore your mental health.
Stand up. Be honest!

We all have valleys –
Life’s not all on mountain tops.
Own your emotions!

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Don’t cry for the gold.
Winners aren’t always first place.
Winners just show up!

Be in the moment.
Let your spirit soar and smile.
Guard your mental health.

Thank you, Simone Biles,
For being so courageous.
You are our hero!

Embrace This Moment!

We are proud of you, Simone!

I’ve lived to try my very best.
I’ve learned to accept defeat.
But, when all of my dreams
Are a heartbeat away,
I just take a deep breath
And keep on trying.


I AM more than I thought I could be…
God knew I could be all this and more…
After all, He made me!
Give me one moment in time…
And I will be all He made me to be.
I will be free.

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Embrace this moment!


Love ya,
JanBeek

Embrace Thoughtfulness


Embrace thoughtfulness.
Express appreciation.
Take none for granted.

Express thoughtfulness.
Embrace opportunities
To show gratitude.

Thank you, WordPress friends,
For being so very kind.
I love your comments!

“But I rejoice with a deep and holy joy
that now at length you have
revived your thoughtfulness for my welfare.
Indeed you have always been thoughtful for me,”

Phil. 4:10

True Friends
express
thoughtfulness
to one another

Ba no kuuki wo yomu culture in Japan. The ability of “Sensing someone’s feelings” generates thoughtfulness in Japanese culture and “understanding the situation without words”

A Thoughtful Tenacious Man

Thoughtful is not just how you treat others, but it is how you treat yourself, too. It is how you embrace life.

Steve Jobs is a man who faced many challenges in his life – experienced enormous success – and endured failures that would have devastated a more thoughtful, tenacious man.

A while after he knew his life span was limited, he gave an address to a group of college graduates. It is labeled as “One of the Greatest Speeches Ever.” It will give you pause to be thoughtful … and to experience the rest of your life much more thoughtfully. Do take time to hear it (even if you have done so already).

Ten thoughtful take-aways from Steve’s message:

  1. Your beginnings in life do not have to define your life’s endings
  2. Being a drop-out does not have to make you a loser. Trust that it will work out OK.
  3. Tenaciously stumble into opportunities as you discover them. Grab them!
  4. Dropping out may give you a chance to drop in to something better.
  5. Find what you love and thoughtfully pursue it.
  6. Don’t be afraid to start over; enjoy the lightness of being a beginner again.
  7. Don’t lose faith.
  8. The only way to do great work is to love what you do.
  9. Live each day as if it is your last.
  10. Death clears out the old to make room for the new… your life is limited. Make the most of it.

Embrace Thoughtfulness.
Live thoughtfully!

What did you think of that Steve Jobs address?

Thanks for visiting – and thoughtfully responding.

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Gray


Embrace gray?
No way!!
I hate gray!

Especially humid, sultry, gray days.
Smokey days that sting my eyes,
assail my nostrils,
and remind me
of the forest fires in the area.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

People’s homes are in danger.
Firefighters’ lives are at risk.
The habitats of birds and deer,
chipmunks and moose,
squirrels and rabbits
are being devoured.

The smoke blows in.
The sun is hidden.
Gray engulfs our valley.
I hate gray!

And yet, as I sit here
looking out at the gray,
praying for rain
to douse the fires
and chase the smoke away,
I hear the birds chirping in the trees.



They see the same gray sky,
smell the same smoke,
feel the same humid, sultry air,
and yet – they sing!
They dance in the leaves.
They fly free –
knowing a rainbow
sits beyond the gray.

Photo by Paweu0142 Fijau0142kowski on Pexels.com

So, rather than hating gray,
God is challenging me to
see gray in a new way.

See the light.
See gray as silver!

When my hair first started turning gray,
I dyed it – trying to keep
the deep brown color of my youth.
But God spoke to me:

“Gray hair is a crown of splendor,
it is attained by a righteous life.”

Proverbs 16:31
Embrace Gray!

Hello gray!
Hello silver!

I can sing your praises
just as the birds
continue to sing
on this gray day.

It’s all a matter of perspective, right?
Not everyone lives long enough
to earn their “crown of splendor.”

Silver brings wisdom.
It signifies the blessing of longevity.

How can you hate gray?
Embrace it and
thank God for that crown!!

How do you feel about gray?

See you tomorrow (God willing)

Love,
JanBeek

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